By Gary R. Rasberry
If tonight's football game between St. Marys and Celina is as physical as the boy's soccer match between the schools was on Thursday, it should be a fun game to watch.
Celina scored a pair of goals in each half and held St Marys to two penalty goals to post a 4-2 win in the Western Buckeye League opener at Celina Soccer Stadium. The Bulldogs improve to 2-1 while the Roughriders go to 1-2 with the loss.
"It's a rivalry," said Celina coach Bruce Strine. "It's going to be physical. You might as well sign up for it because it's going to happen."
The Bulldogs got the first goal in the third minute of the match when Brian Dorsten dribbled in and got the ball past Roughriders' standout keeper Matt Hiskey to start things out. Thirteen minutes later, a holding call in the box on Celina allowed St. Marys to attempt a penalty kick. Ryan Wolfe stepped in and put the ball past Matt Leugers to tie things up at 1-1.
Celina kept the ball moving and used solid defense to limit St. Marys' shots on goal -- the Roughriders had just five shots on goal in the first half and six for the game. Finally, with the clock winding down to four minutes in the half, Celina's Brad Green made a great pass to Neil Hoyng, who went to the other side of the net and scored to give Celina the lead for good.
Much-needed insurance came with four minutes gone in the second half. Dorsten drove in again, looking for his second goal of the night. Dorsten's shot hit the post, but Chris Post booted the rebound into the back of the net to make it 3-1 in favor of Celina.
"We knew that going in, we would have to work the outsides, work the ball deep and put it across the middle," said Strine. "We scored three of our four goals that way. ... They worked hard. They didn't quit. They wanted the game and it's a good win for the program."
St. Marys got a goal closer on another free play as Wolfe put a direct kick past Leugers with 16:14 left in the match. Freshman Aaron Schmitt got the goal back for Celina with 81ò2 minutes left, dribbling in and eluding Hiskey to give Celina its fourth goal.
"Celina plays a very good give-and-go offense," said St. Marys coach Dave Ring. "We knew it was coming and there was just miscommunication between the goalie and defenders and we gave them all four goals.
"If we score two goals, we should be able to beat or tie any team in the league. Tonight, our defense -- which is our strongest point -- let us down. That's not going to happen very often. We can play 10 times and it won't happen again. I give credit to (Celina). They took advantage of their opportunities," continued Ring.
In the junior varsity match, Celina shut out St. Marys, 4-0. Caleb Menchhofer scored two goals while brother Andrew Menchhofer and Alex Dammeyer added a goal apiece for the jayvees.
Celina travels to Kalida on Saturday for a non-conference matchup. St. Marys is off until Thursday when Defiance drops in for a WBL match.